This is the ultimate guide to Kodi 19, the next major update to our favorite media center.
So if you want to learn:
Kodi 19 features
Kodi 19 release date
Kodi 19 download information
All of the latest updates announced.
Then this is the guide to check out. Let’s dive in!
January 20th UPDATE: Kodi 19 RC1 is now released! The release candidate is the final early release of the software before it is released publicly. The RC is safe to install on all of your boxes and will end up being the final release if no additional bugs are found. Check out the features below and get Kodi 19 download information.
Kodi 19 Codename
Each version of Kodi comes with a codename to help users identify it.
Kodi 16 was Jarvis. Kodi 17 was Krypton. Kodi 18 was Leia.
The Kodi foundation asked for suggestions on their forums for the Kodi 19 codename, which starts with ‘M’.
A shortlist was put to vote by the developers and the Kodi 19 codename is Matrix.
Kodi 19 Release Date
The release date for Kodi 19 Matrix is fluid and won’t be officially announced until a later date. However, we can look at the release history of the last few versions of Kodi to make a guess.
Kodi 16 was released on February 20th, 2016.
Kodi 17 was released on February 5th, 2017.
Kodi 18 was released on January 29th, 2019.
The reason for the long delay between Kodi 17 and Kodi 18 is become the majority of code was stripped out and replaced with modern programming standards and libraries. This was done to “future-proof” the code behind Kodi and allow better collaboration and support for all of the different operating systems.
Kodi 18 received many small updates throughout 2019 and 2020, more than any other version. Kodi 18.8 was released at the end of July 2020.
Kodi 19 alpha #1 was released on August 10th, 2020. The alpha release is not intended for install on any “main” Kodi box. Based on the number of bugs found in the alpha release, the final Kodi 19 download should be months away.
Beta #1 for Kodi 19 was released on November 22nd and Beta #2 was released on December 14th. The release candidate #1 was released on January 20th, 2021.
Based on this information, can we guess the Kodi 19 release date?
Nothing is set in stone unless it comes from the official Kodi foundation. However based on the release candidate, we should see an official release date in =Q1 (January-March) of 2021.
The above is complete speculation though!
The Kodi software is well-developed and new major features are harder to recognize and implement. Kodi 18 also runs very well on all operating systems. Because of this, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see another two year development cycle.
Kodi 19 Download
The best way to get the Kodi 19 download is on the official download page.
The Kodi team has always allowed users to test “nightly” versions of its software. These nightly versions often include features that are unfinished and untested and are not recommended for any permanent or main usage. If you don’t know what you are doing, do not try to install the nightly Kodi 19 alpha version.
For those that do want to try out the new Kodi download, you can get more information from the official Kodi nightly release page.
Check out what new Kodi 19 features you can expect to see in the final release.
Kodi 19 Features
So what new features does Kodi 19 have? The beta version release has highlighted a few cool features:
- Addons MUST be built in Python 3 now
- Kodi will now enforce the origin of installed addons and their dependencies. This has been implemented to prevent third party repositories from overwriting code of unrelated add-ons, which was the cause of numerous error reports in the past.
- Software decoding of the AV1 codec. AV1 is an exciting new open-source and royalty-free video codec optimized for transmission over the internet. It is being tested by Netflix, Google, and a bunch of other big companies. It is 30% more efficient than H.265 and is on track to be the gold standard for video streaming in the future.
- Improved subtitles with dark grey color.
- The ability to provide a subtitle URI
- Improved handling of multi-disk CD sets
- Additional metadata tags
- New visualization options
- New “Now Playing” visualization added to the Estuary skin
- iOS now supports Bluetooth controllers – good for retro games in Kodi
- Static HDR10 support for all source types (if supported by the device)
- Dynamic Dolby Vision HDR support for streaming services (if supported by the device)
- Various PVR enhancements
- Default-on switch to provide a password in the web interface
Beta #2 was a bugfix release with no new features. The team has said that beta #2 should be mostly stable and able to run now. If you try it out, make sure to give feedback to Kodi on how things are working!
On the Kodi forums, a wish list of features was created for Kodi 19 and the most requested new features were:
- Samsung Smart TV support
- Internal web browser support
- Improved 3D video capabilities
- Improved AirPlay support
- Official integrations with third party applications such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and others
- Improved smart home integration
What features do you want to see in the new version of Kodi? Comment below and let us know!
Kodi 19 Addons, Skins & Builds
One of the most common questions whenever a new version of Kodi is released is whether or not addons, skins and builds are backwards compatible with previous versions of Kodi.
We will update this section with more information as soon as it is available. However, a lot of the work in the past few versions of Kodi has been to standardized code and dependencies and modules in the back end. This should increase the likelihood of Kodi 18 addons being backwards compatible with Kodi 18 addons.
The biggest change is that addons need to be built using Python 3. This will require some code changes by all addons in order to be compatible. This announcement came back in 2019, so developers have had a lot of time to prepare.
We will update this area with more information soon!